Wednesday, September 15, 2010

To Arms! To Arms!

If you are related in any way to a girl between the ages of 4 and 20 something, you will know who this is:




Let me re-phrase this. If you are a white, Anglo-Saxon, protestant, of middle class income, you know who this is. It is Felicity Merriman of Williamsburg. She is a horse lover, friend to Elizabeth Bennet and fledgling patriot. She is one of the historical characters sold by American Girl. In fact, she is one of the original American Girls.

(American Girl being the superior doll company. Far better role models than Bratz and less harmful to the self-esteem than Barbie. )

She is beloved by generations of girls who learned about the American Revolution by reading her books. She taught us how to be a friend with someone who has differing political opinions (Elizabeth). She taught us that grandfathers are the best people in the world (We cried buckets when her grandfather died.). She taught us that animal cruelty is wrong (She saved Penny). She taught us how to love our enemy (Jiggy Nye). Finally, she taught us what is means to be a patriot and that colonists could be ladies too. (Tea lessons anyone?)

She is also being retired by the Mattel after Christmas. Say it isn't so!

In our house this is treason. Treason I say! How can you have an American Girl Doll company and not feature the American Girl who was present at the birth of our nation?! It's an outrage. First, they retired Kirsten, the pioneer doll, now this. Are the American Revolution and Western Expansion passe? Who's next Kaya? Josphina? Molly?

How are girls going to learn their American History? We need these dolls and their books (and their over-priced nightgowns, riding outfits, bedroom sets, pets and accessories)because even if it is all a profit-driven marketing strategy, it inspires girls to read and to want to learn more about the girls who lived in this country before they did. These dolls really do open windows that no text book ever could,

I used to be able to justify the expense, mostly because Grandpa and Aunt Janet pay for it all, but recently I have begun to contemplate a boycott. Just like Felicity boycotted tea to protest the tax, I should boycott American Girl. I should decry their marketing strategy.

"Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, Give me Felicity or give death!"

Maeve and Hilde are all for this protest. We are united against this injustice.

As long as it is after Christmas and Grandpa and Aunt Janet have purchased all the Felicity items Hilde requires and Maeve gets that tap dance outfit before American Girl black lists us.

1 comment:

  1. Kate, who will be 13 in a month, still loves her Felicity doll. It was the first American girl she got (red hair, you know). When we saw they were discontinuing her, Kate asked for the few outfits she doesn't have of Felicity's line. Tell me how many 13 year old girls ask for American Girl Doll clothes instead of all the other crud they market at teens? I am thankful for American Girl for the most part because of that wholesome quality, and I just hope they replace Felicity with an equally patriotic figure. Or else I'll join you in your boycott:)

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